There are a number of important bills affecting the rights of gun owners being considered this week by the Arizona House and Senate. Please contact your representatives and senators. You can use the "Write Your Reps" feature located on the homepage of NRAILA.org to find out who your Representative and Senator are and e-mail directly.
SENATE BILL 1008 Shooting Range Protection
This is important legislation that protects shooting ranges in Arizona from reckless litigation intended to shut them down. With Arizona’s fast-growing population, this legislation is essential for the protection of the shooting sports.
This bill will be voted on by the full Senate some time during the week of March 18, 2002. Please contact your senator at (602) 542-3559 and ask that he or she support SB 1008. If you don’t know who your senator is, simply ask the operator.
HOUSE BILL 2346 Firearms Clearance Center Tax
Authorizes the Director of the Department of Public Safety to impose a fee, in an amount to be determined by the Director, for each background check performed on a firearm purchaser.
It is inappropriate to charge a fee for the exercise of a constitutional right. There is no precedent for this and there is case law prohibiting it. The state should not resolve its budget problems by imposing fees for rights. Remember, the Arizona Constitution in Article 2, Section 26 states, "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself and the state shall not be impaired." It is impossible for anyone to argue a fee, in any amount, will do something than "impair" the right to obtain firearms, especially for the poor.
HB 2346 will be heard by the House Committee on Public Institutions and Rural Affairs at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19. Contact the members of the committee and ask that they oppose HB 2346.
The PIRA Committee members are:
State Representative Debra Brimhall
Republican -- District 4
Phone Number: 602-542-5861
State Representative Carmine Cardamone
Democrat -- District 11
State Representative Ted Carpenter
Republican -- District 19
State Representative Mark Clark
Democrat -- District 07
State Representative James Kraft
Republican -- District 18
State Representative Sylvia Laughter
Democrat -- District 3
State Representative Wes Marsh
Republican -- District 28
State Representative Albert Tom
Democrat -- District 3
State Representative Phil Hanson
Republican -- District 17
State Representative Jim Carruthers
Republican -- District 5
HOUSE BILL 2131 Clean Water; Technical Correction (S/E amendment - Crime Gun Interdiction)
The original bill is being replaced by what is called a "strike-everything amendment." The new language is from Americans for Gun Safety (AGS), an anti-gun group headquartered in Colorado. The bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.
The bill attempts to coordinate federal, state and local law enforcement to pursue gun dealers who are breaking the law. While this may sound good on its face, the actual legislation is dangerous and unnecessary. Law enforcement already has this authority and should be enforcing the law without a directive from the legislature.
Some of the problems:
Requires all guns used in crimes to be traced by law enforcement. The problems is that AGS will come back to the legislature in a year or two and tell your elected officials that there is a "loophole" in the law. The loophole will be the fact that there is no "licensing and registration" in Arizona. AGS has publicly stated its support for licensing of all firearms owners and registration of all firearms. Law enforcement already has the authority to conduct traces.
The legislation also creates a Task Force that is directed to recommend gun-related legislation to the Legislature. The problem is that virtually all members of the task force have well-established anti-gun records. It would include people like Phoenix Chief of Police Harold Hurt who, during a rally at the state capitol in 2000, said, "I have no idea why in today’s age any citizen would need to own firearms." Also included on the Task Force will be Pima County Prosecutor Barbara LaWall who has never met an anti-gun bill she didn’t like. This year she lobbied to close down gun shows and require all self-defense firearms in the home to be locked and inaccessible. Do you want these officials recommending policy to the state legislature? The task force will be a state-sanctioned gun control organization.
The Task Force includes three federal firearms licensees, gun dealers, but they will be out-voted by the majority every time.
Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and tell them "to oppose the strike-everything amendment to HB 2131." It is dangerous and law enforcement should not need a directive to do its job. It is already pursuing criminals who sell firearms.
The members of the House Judiciary Committee are:
Representative Roberta Voss, Chairman
Representative Steven Tully, Vice-Chairman
Representative Linda Binder
Representative Henry Camarot
Representative Pete Hershberger
Representative John Nelson
Representative Gary Pierce
Representative Jim Sedillo
Representative Bill Brotherton
Representative Kathi Foster